Brandon Mario D'Souza
Written By - Brandon Mario D'Souza

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Organizational psychology, also known as industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology, is a field of psychology that applies psychological theories and principles to understand and solve problems related to human behavior in organizations. It focuses on studying how individuals behave in the workplace and how organizations function. Organizational psychologists are indispensable in resolving company conflicts to improve the business bottom line. One of the critical components of a Master in Organizational Psychology online degree is the study of human behavior in work settings. Organizational psychologists develop effective employee training methods, human resources, marketing, management, sales, and overall organizational health. Organizational psychology is also called business psychology or industrial-organizational psychology. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, business psychology jobs are estimated to grow 12.5 percent between 2022 and 2032 [1]. Industrial-organizational psychology graduates are responsible for teaching employees how to work better. As a result, their creation of a better work environment improves productivity and cohesive harmony. This guide will help prospective students understand all aspects of getting an online master’s in organizational psychology degree.

Organizational Psychology course

Table Of Contents

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online MS in Psychology – Industrial-Organizational

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the GetEducated.com Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

Best Master’s in Organizational Psychology Online Programs

Earning a Master’s in Organizational Psychology degree at an accredited university is the first step toward building a thriving career. To jumpstart the search for the best online Master’s programs in organizational psychology, we have shortlisted top universities based in part on courses offered, duration of the program, research areas, focus of the research, awards, student assistance, and graduation rates. Here are the best online master’s programs in organizational psychology:

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
#1
Touro University Worldwide
0601 Calle Lee #179, Los Alamitos, California 90720
$9,000100%
#2
Colorado State University, Fort Collins
102 Administration Building, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523
$10,52070%
#3
Missouri University of Science and Technology
300 W.13th Street, Rolla, Missouri 65409
$10,45266%
#4
Kansas State University
919 Mid-Campus Drive, Anderson Hall, Manhattan, Kansas 66506
$10,21265%
#5
University of Southern California
University Park, Los Angeles, California 90089
$46,27292%
#6
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd, Lynchburg, Virginia 24515
$7,98047%
#7
Eastern Kentucky University
521 Lancaster Ave, Richmond, Kentucky 40475
$9,90045%
#8
Golden Gate University
536 Mission Street, San Francisco, California 94105
$15,840NA
#9
Austin Peay State University
601 College St, Clarksville, Tennessee 37044
$8,10043%
#10
Southern New Hampshire University
2500 North River Road, Manchester, New Hampshire 03106
$18,81044%
#11
Grand Canyon University
3300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, Arizona 85017
$10,17541%
#12
Albizu University
2173 N.W. 99th Avenue, Miami, Florida 33172
$11,77433%
#13
Purdue University Global
9000 Keystone Crossing, Suite 800, Indianapolis, Indiana 46240
$8,79127%
#14
Bellevue University
1000 Galvin Rd S, Bellevue, Nebraska 68005
$10,53024%
#15
National Louis University
122 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60603
$11,64622%

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Understanding Master’s in Organizational Psychology Online Programs

A Master’s in Organizational Psychology is a comprehensive graduate program that immerses students in the intricate interplay between psychology and organizational dynamics. This specialized field of study equips individuals with a deep understanding of human behavior within the workplace, covering essential topics such as employee selection, training, leadership, and organizational culture. 

The curriculum, typically around 30-45 credit hours, emphasizes a balance between theoretical knowledge and practical application. 

Students engage in hands-on learning experiences, research projects, and often internships, gaining valuable insights into real-world organizational challenges. The program fosters critical thinking and leadership skills, preparing graduates for diverse roles such as organizational development consultant, human resources manager, or training specialist. With flexible learning options, networking opportunities, and a focus on practical skill development, a Master’s in Organizational Psychology empowers individuals to contribute effectively to the success and well-being of organizations across various industries.

At the end of the program, students have the knowledge and tools to implement changes in the organization and enhance employee relations. But before they start enrolling in these organizational psychology programs, it is essential to understand these programs fully. In this section, we will dig deep into organizational psychology programs.

Curriculum and Skills Gained in Organizational Psychology Master’s Program

The curriculum of a Master’s in Organizational Psychology program is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of psychological principles as they apply to organizational settings. While specific courses may vary between institutions, the following is a general overview of the critical areas typically covered in such programs:

Foundations of Organizational Psychology

This foundational course overviews organizational psychology’s historical development and critical theoretical frameworks. Students explore the evolution of organizational theories, examining influential concepts that have shaped the field. Emphasis is placed on understanding the fundamental principles that guide the application of psychology in organizational settings.

Psychological Assessment in Workplace

This course focuses on the methods and tools used to assess individual and group behavior in organizational contexts. Students delve into the principles of psychological testing, surveys, and assessments, specifically emphasizing their applications in employee selection, performance evaluation, and talent development. Practical exercises and case studies enhance their skills in utilizing assessment tools effectively.

Research Methods in Psychology

This course introduces students to research design and methodologies specific to organizational psychology. Emphasis is placed on empirical research methods, statistical analysis, and the interpretation of findings. They gain practical experience designing and conducting research projects related to organizational challenges.

Organizational Communication

This course explores the fundamental role of communication within organizational structures, emphasizing its impact on individual and group dynamics. Through theoretical frameworks and practical applications, students develop a deep understanding of the communication processes that shape organizational culture, decision-making, and overall effectiveness.

Organizational Leadership

This course delves into the theories and practices of leadership within organizational settings. Students explore different leadership styles and their impact on team dynamics and organizational outcomes. Effective management and team leadership strategies are discussed, emphasizing developing leadership skills that align with organizational goals.

Some additional courses that one can find across masters in organizational psychology curriculums include:

  • Workplace Psychology
  • Employee Training and Development
  • External Communications Management
  • Leadership and Management
  • Work Motivation
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Organizational Culture Management
  • Project and Research Management
  • Occupational Health and Well-Being 
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Performance Appraisal and Feedback

Graduate students learn critical leadership skills to drive organizational changes. The program covers employment topics, including workplace diversity, employee training, performance auditing, and change management. By the end of the program, students of a master in organizational psychology degree develop various skills, including the ability to:

  • analyze complex organizational issues and develop evidence-based solutions;
  • design and conduct research studies to address organizational challenges;
  • use statistical methods and data analysis tools to interpret research findings;
  • effectively communicate psychological concepts and recommend them to diverse audiences;
  • understand leadership styles and apply effective leadership strategies;
  • identify and diagnose organizational problems and propose solutions;
  • apply creative problem-solving approaches to address challenges in the workplace;
  • design and implement interventions to enhance organizational effectiveness;
  • develop strategies for effective communication and collaboration in a multicultural environment;
  • implement strategies to promote employee well-being and manage workplace stress.

Degree Types for Organizational Psychology Programs

A Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Psychology program is the first step toward preparing for graduate work in this highly demanding profession. Two main Organizational Psychology degree options exist: a Master of Arts (MA) and a Master of Science (MS.)

MA Organizational Psychology Programs

An MA in Organizational Psychology typically emphasizes a solid theoretical foundation and may include a broader range of elective courses, allowing students to explore various perspectives within organizational psychology. While the focus remains on practical application, there might be a slightly greater emphasis on theoretical frameworks and qualitative research methods.

MS Organizational Psychology Programs

An MS in Organizational Psychology typically emphasizes a more scientific and research-oriented approach. There may be a focus on quantitative research methods and statistical analysis. The curriculum may include a core set of courses emphasizing empirical research and data-driven decision-making.

Difference between Organizational Psychology, Industrial Organizational and Business Psychology

Although the terms Organizational Psychology, Industrial Organizational Psychology, and Business Psychology are interchangeably used, there are slight differences between each. Here is the subtle difference between these similar psychology programs:

Organizational PsychologyIndustrial-Organizational PsychologyBusiness Psychology
It deals with the inclusion of strategies for improving the structure and processes confined to a company. Subjects include organizational design, change management, and organizational development.Deals with the management of the stakeholders engaged in a firm. The professionals address talent acquisition, training, management, and leadership tasks.It deals with business ethics and strategies that help organizations follow ethical and legal guidelines.

Specializations in Masters in Organizational Psychology Programs

Masters in Organizational Psychology programs often provide opportunities for students to specialize in specific areas within the field. Specializations allow students to tailor their education to align with their career goals and interests. While the availability of specializations can vary between institutions, here are some common areas of specialization within Organizational Psychology:

Area of FocusDescriptionCareers This Concentration Prepares For
Talent Management and DevelopmentThis specialization equips students with the knowledge and skills to optimize an organization’s workforce, ensuring it has the right talent to achieve its strategic objectives. The curriculum typically covers various topics related to human capital, performance management, leadership development, and succession planning.Talent Acquisition Specialist, Leadership Development Specialist, Performance Management Consultant, and more. 
Leadership and Executive CoachingThe Leadership and Executive Coaching specialization focuses on developing expertise in coaching leaders to enhance their effectiveness and reach their full potential. It combines principles of organizational psychology, leadership theory, and coaching techniques to prepare students for roles in coaching executives and cultivating strong leadership within organizations.Executive Coach, Leadership Development Consultant, Organizational Development Manager, Corporate Trainer, and more. 
Diversity and InclusionThe Diversity and Inclusion specialization focuses on understanding and addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion issues within organizational settings. This specialization equips students with the knowledge and skills to foster diverse and inclusive workplace cultures.Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Equity and Inclusion Consultant, Diversity Recruiter, etc. 
Training and DevelopmentThis specialization integrates principles of psychology with adult learning theories and instructional design concepts. Students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to enhance employee performance, improve skills, and contribute to organizational success through strategic training initiatives.Corporate Trainer, Training and Development Specialist, Learning and Development Manager, and more.
Employee EngagementThis specialization combines organizational psychology, leadership, and human resources principles to equip students with the skills to create a positive and engaging work environment. The curriculum typically covers employee motivation, organizational culture, leadership practices, and strategies for fostering high employee engagement.Employee Engagement Specialist, Organizational Development Consultant, Talent Management Specialist, and more.
Human Resources ManagementThe Human Resources Management specialization combines organizational psychology principles with the practical aspects of HR management, preparing professionals to address the people-related challenges within organizations. The curriculum typically covers personnel selection, performance management, employee relations, and strategic HR planning.HR Manager, Talent Acquisition Specialist, HR Business Partner, Organizational Development Specialist, and more. 
Ethics and Corporate Social ResponsibilityThe Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) specialization focuses on integrating ethical principles and socially responsible practices within organizational contexts. It equips students with the knowledge and skills to navigate complex ethical dilemmas, foster a culture of responsibility, and contribute to sustainable and socially conscious business practices. Corporate Philanthropy Manager, CSR Analyst, Business Ethics Consultant, etc. 

Graduation Timeline

The timeline for completing a Master’s in Organizational Psychology can vary depending on program structure, credit requirements, and enrollment status. In a full-time program, students typically finish in 1.5 to 2 years, enrolling in a full course load each semester, with possible summer sessions to expedite completion. Part-time programs, spanning 2.5 to 4 years, offer a reduced course load and may include evening or weekend classes for working professionals. Accelerated programs, designed for those committing to a more intensive workload, often take 12 to 18 months. Some programs allow flexible scheduling, enabling graduates to switch between full-time and part-time based on commitments. Actual durations depend on program specifics, such as credits, thesis requirements, and internships.

Accelerated Online Master’s in Organizational Psychology Programs

Various universities offer accelerated Master’s in Organizational Psychology programs to provide an expedited path for students to earn their degrees. Accelerated programs typically feature a more intensive course schedule, allowing graduates to complete the requirements in a shorter time than traditional full-time programs. Some programs providing accelerated graduate degrees in organizational psychology include:

One-Year Programs

Several universities offer one-year Master’s in Organizational Psychology programs. These programs are designed to provide an accelerated path for students to earn their degree in a shorter time than traditional full-time programs. Some colleges offering a one-year graduate degree include:

Master’s in Organizational Psychology Online Programs Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for Master’s in Organizational Psychology online programs can vary across institutions, but there are standard criteria that many programs share. Here are typical admission requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree – A completed bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution is usually required. The degree may need to be in psychology, organizational psychology, or a related field, though some programs accept applicants with diverse academic backgrounds.
  • Transcripts – Most programs will request official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended. These transcripts provide a record of one’s academic performance.
  • GPA (Grade Point Average) – Many programs have a minimum GPA requirement for admission. This requirement can vary but often falls in the range of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Letters of Recommendation – Programs often ask for letters of recommendation from academic or professional references who can speak to one’s capabilities and potential for success in a graduate program.
  • Statement of Purpose – Applicants usually submit a Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement. This document lets the applicant articulate their reasons for pursuing a Master’s in Organizational Psychology and discuss their career goals.
  • Résumé – Many programs require a current résumé or CV outlining one’s educational and professional background.
  • Work Experience – Some programs prefer or require applicants to have relevant work experience in psychology, human resources, or a related field. This requirement can vary.
  • GRE Scores – While only sometimes mandatory, some programs may require or recommend Graduate Record Examination (GRE)) scores. Check the specific requirements of the programs to which one is applying.
  • Interviews – Some programs may require an interview as part of the admission process. This could be conducted in person or via video conference.
  • Application Fee – Most institutions require an application fee to process the application. This fee can vary widely.

Organizational Psychology Masters Programs No GRE

Many universities require GRE scores to apply to the program. However, some universities offer an industrial-organizational psychology master’s program, no GRE. These universities are accredited. Here is a list of Industrial-organizational psychology master’s programs with no GRE requirement:

Accreditation for Masters in Organizational Psychology Online Programs

University accreditation means everything to potential employers. There are two types of accreditation: regional and national. Students who do not choose accredited industrial-organizational psychology programs are excluded from applying for financial aid or earning professional certifications.

Like all other online psychology programs, industrial-organizational or organizational psychology programs are accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (APA CoA) [11]. The APA CoA is also tasked with accrediting doctoral internships and postdoctoral residency programs. All the programs listed in this guide are accredited organizational psychology programs.

Free Online Organizational Psychology Courses

Free online organizational psychology courses provide valuable opportunities for students at various stages of their academic journey. These courses introduce fundamental concepts in organizational and industrial psychology, offering flexibility in scheduling and accessibility from any location with an internet connection. Some free organizational psychology courses that one can include:

CourseThe Society of Mind [12]
Provided byThe Massachusetts Institute of Technology
DescriptionThis course provides an in-depth exploration of the foundational theories that explain the complex processes that give rise to the human mind by amalgamating diverse elemental components. The curriculum integrates insights from psychology, artificial intelligence, and computer science, covering a range of cognitive domains such as vision, language, learning, reasoning, memory, consciousness, ideals, emotions, and personality.
CourseOrganizational Analysis [13]
Provided byCoursera
DescriptionThe course explores the connection between human resources and organizational behavior, providing insights into individual and group dynamics within a professional setting. Additionally, participants research performance measurement, communication analysis, and real-world case studies to develop practical skills applicable to organizational analysis and improvement.
CourseOrganizational Psychology MicroMasters Program [14]
Provided byedX
DescriptionParticipants gain insights into the intricate process of recruiting and selecting individuals for positions, focusing on minimizing biases that may influence the selection process. The course helps one understand the application of motivation theories to performance management and appraisal, emphasizing the design of appraisal systems geared towards fostering high-performance outcomes.

How to Pay for Master’s in Organizational Psychology Online Programs

Many aspirants plan to enroll for a Master’s in Organizational Psychology online. Still, not everyone can afford to pay the tuition. To ensure that education is accessible for every hopeful psychology student, universities participate in financial aid payment options. These include student loans, employer tuition reimbursement, scholarships, and grants.

Scholarships and Grants

Research and apply for scholarships and grants specific to organizational psychology or the chosen field. Many organizations, foundations, and academic institutions offer financial aid based on merit, need, or specific criteria.

Fellowships

Fellowships are often available for graduate students in various fields, including psychology. These awards may cover tuition and provide additional stipends for living expenses. Explore fellowship opportunities offered by universities, research institutions, and private organizations.

Student Loans

Federal and private student loans are familiar sources of funding for graduate education. Be sure to explore federal loan options first, as they often have lower interest rates and more favorable repayment terms than private loans.

Graduate Assistantships

Some universities offer graduate assistantship programs where students work part-time in research or teaching roles while pursuing their degrees. They may receive a stipend, tuition waiver, or both in exchange.

Work-Study Programs

Federal Work-Study programs provide part-time employment opportunities for graduate students with financial needs. These jobs are often on-campus and related to the student’s field of study.

Part-Time Work

Balancing part-time work with studies is a common approach to funding graduate education. Look for opportunities that allow one to gain relevant experience in the field while earning income.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The FAFSA is the US Department of Education’s application process for all student financial assistance [15].

Scholarships for Masters in Organizational Psychology Students

There are many institute and organization-specific scholarships that students can take up; however, few organizational psychology-oriented scholarships that one can pursue include:

ScholarshipDescriptionAwardApplication Deadline
SIOP Graduate Student Scholarships, Mary L. Tenopyr Scholarship, and Lee Hakel Graduate Student Scholarship [16]The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) is a professional organization that often offers scholarships to graduate students pursuing studies in industrial-organizational psychology. These scholarships may be awarded based on academic merit, research potential, and contributions to the field.$3,500Varies
Leslie W. Joyce and Paul W. Thayer Graduate Fellowship in I-O Psychology [17]The Leslie W. Joyce and Paul W. Thayer Graduate Fellowship is a unique opportunity for graduate students to receive substantial support while honoring the legacy of impactful mentorship in the realm of I-O Psychology. The committee considers the quality of the candidate’s undergraduate or graduate academic record, focusing on coursework relevant to specialization in training and development and selection and placement within the I-O Psychology domain.$10,000Varies

Careers and Salary Outlook for Organizational Psychology Master’s Graduates

The organizational psychology master’s offers a flexible path toward the degree. American workplaces seek professionals skilled in organizational development, instructional coordination, human resources, succession planning, and employee engagement. Good salaries and perks depend on the person’s experience and education. Graduates with a Master’s in Organizational Psychology can pursue various jobs in different sectors. Here are some typical organizational psychology job roles:

  • Organizational Psychologist
  • Human Resources Manager/Director
  • Training and Development Manager
  • Talent Management Specialist
  • Change Management Consultant
  • Employee Relations Specialist
  • Industrial-Organizational Consultant
  • Workplace Health and Well-being Specialist
  • Research Analyst in Human Resources
  • Diversity and Inclusion Specialist
  • Academic or research positions
  • Corporate Trainer
  • Organizational Development Specialist

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the details of the distinct job positions, related careers, and the respective salaries:

OccupationIndustrial-Organizational Psychologists [18]
SkillsAnalytical, integrity, interpersonal, observational, patience, and problem-solving skills.
Median Annual Salary$144,610
Job Growth (up to 2032)12.5%
Job DescriptionAs an Industrial-Organizational psychologist, one must apply psychological principles to analyze and organize a work setting, resulting in a better workplace environment and greater productivity.
OccupationHuman Resources Managers [19]
SkillsCommunication, decision-making, interpersonal, leadership, and organizational skills.
Median Annual Salary$130,000
Job Growth (up to 2032)5% is faster than average for other occupations
Job DescriptionAs a Human Resources Manager, one plays a pivotal role in optimizing an organization’s workforce, aligning individual talents with overarching business objectives. Their multifaceted responsibilities encompass strategic planning, talent management, and fostering a harmonious workplace environment.
OccupationTraining and Development Managers [20]
SkillsBusiness, communication, critical thinking, decision-making, collaboration, instructional, and leadership skills. 
Median Annual Salary$120,000
Job Growth (up to 2032)6% is faster than average for other occupations
Job DescriptionThe Training and Development Manager identifies what skills employees need to succeed. Their leadership ensures that training programs align with the organization’s goals and fit neatly into budget plans. As the architect of development initiatives, they design engaging programs that push professional growth. They also provide regular updates to keep the content fresh and aligned with the latest industry standards.
OccupationCompensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists [21]
SkillsBusiness communication, critical thinking, decision-making, collaboration, instructional, and leadership skills. 
Median Annual Salary$67,780
Job Growth (up to 2032)7%, is faster than average for other occupations
Job DescriptionOne is more than just an analyst in the Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialist role. Still, they are critical contributors to creating a work environment that attracts, retains, and motivates top talent. They make decisions about fairness, compliance, and informed decision-making that make them an indispensable part of the organization’s human resources team.

Certifications and Licensure for Organizational Psychology Master’s Students

Moving ahead into the workplace, organizational psychology master’s graduates must attain some authentications, certifications, and licenses. Licensing policies and the requirement of a certificate depend on the state where one decides to practice. Many steps are involved in obtaining a certification or license. Learn about certifications at the American Board of Organizational and Business Consulting Psychology[22]. The Association of State and Provincial Boards is where to learn about licensing [23].

Professional certifications can enhance the credentials and marketability of organizational psychology professionals. Some notable certifications that students and practitioners in organizational psychology may consider:

Additional Resources for Master’s in Organizational Psychology Online Students

Students in a Masters in Organizational Psychology online program often need support and guidance. Some associations, communities, and societies serving the profession are discussed below:

  • American Psychological Association (APA) [28] – The renowned Association of Psychologists in the United States has over 121,000 members, including scientists, educators, clinicians, consultants, and students.
  • Association for Psychological Science (APS) [29] – APS is the leading international organization advancing scientific psychology across disciplinary and geographic borders. Our members provide a richer understanding of the world through their research, teaching, and psychological science application.
  • National Association of School Psychologists [30] – The association offers information on scholarly advances in research, training methodologies, and research resources.
  • Society of Psychologists in Management [31] – SPIM is a professional society comprising psychologists who work as executives, managers, leaders, and consultants to executives and managers in business, government, health, community services, and consulting academics.

FAQs About Master’s in Organizational Psychology Online Programs

What is Organizational Psychology?

Organizational Psychology, also known as Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology, is a field that applies psychological principles and methods to improve workplace productivity, employee satisfaction, and organizational effectiveness.

What Does an Organizational Psychologist Do?

What Career Opportunities Exist for Organizational Psychologists?

Do I Need to Complete a Thesis or Internship?

Can I Pursue a Master’s in Organizational Psychology if My Bachelor’s Degree is in a Different Field?

Are Online Master’s Programs in Organizational Psychology Available?

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